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In this section, we try to explain some of the basic principles we use in the design of our shields. 


The Arduino project website is a great resource for learning to use the arduino, however these are some tips for understanding the board's architecture and limitations that can help you make best use of its functionality.


This section deals with the three major types of motors that are useful for animal behavioral setups: bipolar motors, servo motors, and stepper motors.


H-bridges are some of the most useful components because they get around two of the main limitations of the Arduino digital outputs: they can only output a maximum of +5V (and thus cannot be used with components such as solenoid valves that often require 12V), and they can only output positive voltages (and cannot therefore drive components like stepper and bipolar motors that sometimes use negative voltages).

Analog circuits

It is often useful to be able to construct simple analog circuits (such as amplifiers or beam break detectors) in order to measure signals related to an animal's behavior. This section gives a little background ito building these types of circuits for a range of applications. 

The PS3eye is a great little USB video camera for simple computer vision applications and high speed video. It costs around $10 on Amazon and is able to capture up to 187fps video (at lower resolution) using the free Kinovea software package. You must firtst download the driver from CodeLabs for use on Windows or Linux systems.

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